This past season the Habs made a Cinderella run to the eastern conference finals, playing in 3 game 7’s along the way the Habs bet heavyweight teams such as the Hurricanes and Bolts before losing 3-2 in game 7 to the eventual champions the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Habs were without Forsberg that game and they could’ve possibly made the finals if he hadn’t gotten injured in game 6. After coming so close to the cup finals again the Habs have shown that they are hungry to get back making some big moves.
The biggest move out of them all was bringing in Ryan Ellis from the Sabres. Ellis is an offensive dynamo and looks to be the Habs #1 d-man heading into next season. The Habs had to part with Rasmus Sandin and pick 27 to make this happen but for such a high calibre d-man on a sweetheart contract it was a deal that puts the Habs into a really good situation financially.
One of the first deals that was made by the Habs this offseason was acquiring Brock Nelson. The big bodied sniper will be one of the Habs biggest goal scoring threats this season. The Habs had to give up Kupari for Nelson but were able to upgrade their Arizona 5th 2020 to Boston’s 3rd in 2020(more on this pick in a bit). Nelson will have some very good playmakers feeding him passes so it’s easy to see him excelling in a Habs uniform.
Another big bodied goal scorer, Coleman was brought in earlier today by the Habs to fill a 2nd line scoring role for the team. Unlike Nelson however, Coleman is a pretty good defender and brings a lot of sandpaper to his game. Coleman will likely see pk ice-time at some point and he’s a guy that will cause the opposing team to keep their heads on a swivel to avoid receiving a massive hit.
The final deal of significance to Montreal’s title hopes next year is acquiring Brassard for his second stint in a Habs uniform. Brassard was traded in the offseason for Ryan Kesler right before Montreal won their GVFHL cup. Brassard will play a 4th line grinding role and has the ability to chip in a goal here and there.
While the Habs don’t have a Crosby or Ovie level superstar on their team they are still a deep squad. They look to be a physical two-way squad next year as they try to use the same formula that won them their first cup. One thing is for certain, Habs GM Blake MacPherson is far from done with this team and he will continue to mould this team into a championship calibre team.